Guidelines were followed on snow removal

Jan 9, 2013 Ron Warpness, Mayor, Riverton


Here we are another January, and the issue of snow removal is a hot topic. I recall in January of 2011, when I first took office, we had a very large snow event along with broken water lines. It was not pretty and caused a lot of community angst. I hope and pray that we do not have the broken water lines to go along with it this year.

One thing that I have learned these past two years is that it is a lot more fun to "throw spears" than it is to catch them. I have thrown a few in the past. It is also a lot easier as you are not bound by the reality of the situation and can make some pretty broad leaps of reason in the conclusion you draw. It also makes for a lot more interesting commentary.

In Mr. Van Dijk's letter in the Ranger Jan. 3 he makes some comments that I feel a need to comment on.

First of all I would like to compliment Mayor Wolfe and his staff on the great job that they are doing on snow removal in Lander. It appears they have it all figured out in this regard. It is my understanding that Lander did not get quite as much snow as we did here in Riverton this last time, but neither of us received enough to have the kind of heartburn that is expressed in Mr. Van Dijk's letter. It is January in Wyoming, and it is always slick with any amount of snow. When the temperature warms enough during the day to create "black ice" especially in shady areas such as the south side of main street in front of The Ranger and the post office it can be treacherous.

With respect to this recent snow event, the decision was made by staff to use "Ice Slice" on the main streets as the snowfall was not 4 inches, which is the point at which we plow snow per our snow removal and plowing guidelines. I think that where we may have made an error was by deciding to pull the snow away from the curbs that had been pushed off of the sidewalks into the street, we in effect made the buildup of snow in the travel lane more than the Ice Slice could handle. Between the snowfall and this little plowing we had more than 4 inches of accumulation and probably should have plowed it all and picked it up. Couple that with the very cold, freezing nights, and we have what we have. This decision was made to deal with a problem on Christmas eve and Christmas day for staff and to help save some of the budget for later in the year.

On the 1 percent issue that Mr. Van Dijk referred to. I hope that I understood his comments correctly but am not quite sure due to his grammatical construction. He seems to be suggesting that the city and contractors did something wrong in presenting the facts to the voting public. I can tell you we did nothing improper, and I am very proud to have been associated with that effort. Mr. Van Dijk also suggests that the majority of the money will be used on roads in Riverton and that all of the county will pay the tax for Riverton's maintenance. This is categorically not correct. The county will receive the majority of the monies raised to be used on county projects estimated at $3.4 million. Each municipality will receive its share of the money based on population, Riverton $1.9 million. This is in spite of the fact that the majority of the tax money will be raised and collected in Riverton.

I will not bother to respond to the suggestion that the City of Riverton is not concerned about the safety of its citizens.

Happy new year.

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